The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is alerting members of the public not to purchase or consume ‘Anyang Herbal Blue’ and ‘Anyang Herbal Red’. Both products were marketed as weight loss products, and were sold online and through direct selling.
Although labelled as containing ‘100 percent natural ingredients’, after testing it HSA found them to contain very high levels of a banned substance, sibutramine. In addition, ‘Anyang Herbal Red’ also contains undeclared potent western medicines: diclofenac (a painkiller) and phenolphthalein (a laxative).
Anyang Herbal Blue was also touted to have ‘no side effects’ but contrary to this claim a female consumer in her late 20s has complained of heart palpitations, nausea, trembling of hands and legs, sweating, insomnia and illusions after consuming it, HSA informed.
HSA’s investigations revealed that the seller, Jessie Cosmetics, sold the products on a social media platform, as well as directly to her friends. HSA had directed immediate cessation of the sale of the product. The seller is currently assisting in HSA’s investigation.
Sibutramine was previously available as a prescription-only weight loss drug but has been withdrawn from Singapore since 2010, due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Other possible serious adverse effects include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, hallucinations and mood swings, HSA stated.
Based on the labelled dosing instructions of Anyang Herbal products, a consumer would be consuming as high as eight times the maximum allowable amount of sibutramine per day. These dangerously high levels of sibutramine would predispose consumers to serious adverse effects. In the past, several consumers have reported experiencing hallucinations or hearing voices, palpitations and breathlessness after consuming products containing high levels of sibutramine.
HSA advises members of the public to:
- Stop taking Anyang Herbal Blue and Anyang Herbal Red immediately, and consult a doctor if you feel unwell or are concerned about your health.
- Exercise caution when purchasing health products online. Anyone can be a seller on these e-commerce platforms. You cannot be certain where and how these products were made. They could potentially be counterfeits or adulterated with undeclared potent ingredients which can seriously harm your health.
- Be wary of health products that promise quick and miraculous results or carry exaggerated claims like ‘100 percent natural ingredients’, ‘no side effects’ or ‘100 percent safe’.
Members of the public are encouraged to visit healthdangers website to learn more about the dangers of buying illegal health products from dubious sources.
Sale and supply of illegal products
All sellers must stop selling Anyang Herbal Blue and Anyang Herbal Red immediately. They are warned that it is illegal to sell and supply complementary health products containing undeclared potent western medicines or banned substances. Anyone who supplies illegal health products is liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 3 years and/or fined up to $100,000.
Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of Anyang Herbal or other illegal products may contact HSA’s Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email.